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Road Test: Ford Puma. Stylish and Sporty

The Puma has landed in the urban jungle. And I was more than ready to pounce on it. First impressions, they say, last the longest. And that is so apt for the Puma. The looks are very bold and dynamic and a pleasure to pleasure to drive. It was smooth as silk on the hi-ways and bi-ways of KZN and equally good in urban traffic, powered by multiple award-winning 1.0L EcoBoost engine delivering 92kW and 170Nm, matched to seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and front-wheel drive, producing a top quality drive. The cross-over SUV got the admiration from curious onlookers.

Puma 4

Image: Supplied

Designed to please!

Stylish, sporty and bound to get you interested. The Puma features a low, sloping roofline for a dramatic, instantly recognisable silhouette, and bucks the trend for wedge-style crossover side profiles. Ford’s design team created highly emotional surfacing over the distinctively proportioned stance of the vehicle and, alongside the engineering team, delivered uncompromised style, access and load-space.

Sensual surfacing continues along the sides of the Puma, with pronounced wheel arches amplifying the sporty character. The expressive front-end features intricately designed “canoe-shaped” headlamps that sit high on the wings, while the LED fog lamps are positioned directly below, integrated into the front air curtain inlets that guide airflow across the front wheels.

 

It takes two

The Puma is available with two distinctive personalities, comprising the sporty Puma Titanium and the stylish range-topping Puma ST-Line Vignale. Under the skin, the compact crossover proportions deliver a raised ride height for a confidence-enhancing driving experience, while supporting an uncompromised luggage capacity of 456 litres. This is complemented by an extensive range of high-end features. These include a large fully digital instrument cluster, wireless charging, premium B&O sound system, lumbar massage seats, powered tailgate and sport suspension.

“The Ford Puma is a sophisticated urban compact SUV that combines a sporty design matched to exceptional interior functionality and unsurpassed connected technology to meet the demands of dynamic young individuals and professionals,” says Doreen Mashinini, General Manager for Marketing at Ford South Africa.

Hands Free

Loading the Puma is made even easier with Ford’s hands-free tailgate technology, which is standard on the ST-Line Vignale. The system allows access to the boot space, even with arms full of groceries, kids or sports equipment, using a simple kicking motion under the rear bumper.

The Puma tailgate features an innovative incorporated parcel shelf solution – solving the challenge of what to do with the parcel shelf when loading, unloading and carrying large items. The tailgate-mounted luggage cover moves in unison with the tailgate and removes the need for side supports, ensuring unhindered access to the rear load area.

Range

The Puma range starts off with the Titanium, which features unique black-machined 17-inch alloy wheels, and chrome elements for the grille, side skirts and fog lamps. The rear diffuser and skid plate are finished in metallic grey, and the window surrounds in high gloss black. Inside, Puma Titanium is offered with a leather-trimmed steering wheel, wood-effect appliques for the cluster bezel and instrument panel, and distinctive fabric inserts for the door interiors.

Puma 3

Image: Supplied

The sporty Puma ST-Line Vignale is offered with black 18-inch machined alloy wheels and a sports suspension. At the front, the ST-Line grille features matt black elements and a high-gloss surround, high-gloss foglamp surrounds, and a larger, functional roof-spoiler..

 

Award-winning powertrain technology

The 1.0L three-cylinder EcoBoost engine is common to both derivatives of the Puma. It produces 92kW of power at 6 000 r/min matched to 170Nm of torque across a broad range from 1 500 to 4 500 r/min. Power is delivered to the front wheels via an advanced seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, which provides seamless performance allied to fast shifts for sporty driving.

FordPass

FordPass Connect on-board modem technology allows a range of convenient features via the FordPass mobile app, including Vehicle Locator; Vehicle Status (that checks fuel levels, alarm status, oil life and more); remote Door Lock Unlock; and Remote Start.

Puma 2

Image: Supplied

Verdict

Pure value for money from the Blue Oval badge. A more than versatile cross-over SUV hat is equal to so many tasks. Fuel consumption was around 7.4l per 100kms. A roomy interior and lots of boot space to load up, especially for the weekend adventures. Priced to sell. Ready to please!    

 

Pricing (incl)

Puma Titanium                                   R569 900

Puma ST-Line Vignale                       R613 900

Included as standard is Ford Protect comprising a four-year/120 000km warranty, four-year/unlimited distance Roadside Assistance and five-year/unlimited distance corrosion warranty. The recommended service interval is 15 000km or annually, whichever occurs first.